Third Sector Awards: Breakthrough of the Year – The Victim Navigator Programme, Justice and Care

This award is an opportunity to showcase something new or different. Areas could include supporter and/or donor engagement, extending the reach of the charity or introducing a new way of working

What is the project?

Modern Slavery is a devastating and growing crime in the UK with more than 12,000 estimated victims. Justice and Care, which helps to rescue victims of slavery and human trafficking and empower them to rebuild their lives, developed a pioneering project in partnership with the Police Modern Slavery Transformation Unit.

Two unique Victim Navigator roles were embedded within Surrey and Kent Police in 2018, to directly support victims of human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK.

The pilot has expanded rapidly with navigators now embedded in forces including Essex Police, Greater Manchester Police and Border Force in Glasgow.

How is the project delivered?

The Victim Navigators support victims of trafficking as soon as they are rescued, helping them to understand their rights and choices, access the services they need and navigate the criminal justice system. They also provide training and tactical advice to investigators and front line teams. 

How effective has it been?

Eighty per cent of victims have engaged with police and 73 per cent have been supported to access services relevant to their needs. The project has led to practice change within the police – after training delivered to a Road Policing Unit, four potential victims and two accused traffickers were identified during a routine traffic stop.

Navigators have also been able to create a new screening tool to support responding officers with identifying potential victims and with using trauma-sensitive interview techniques. 

What did the judges say?

Excellent person-centred innovation, showing real impact with a sensible approach to the challenges faced.”

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